Are there human kings still alive today?

Lions in Africa: king without a country - land without a king

There is no other animal that humans show as much respect as the lion. The impressive big cat stands for strength, beauty, endurance and pride. And yet the lion is in massive danger, mostly through human intervention. What seems unimaginable is already a reality in some regions of Africa: The lions are acutely threatened!

The second largest big cat on earth used to be native to southern Europe and the Balkans. But wherever the human contested the territory, the lion disappeared and is almost nowhere to be found: not in Europe, not in North Africa and not in Asia. Only a small population in India survived. And sub-Saharan Africa has long been considered its last bastion.

Dramatic development: lions in Africa

In recent years, however, it has also been seen less and less in Africa. Environmentalists and scientists wanted to know more precisely and searched meticulously for traces and signs of life. The result was shocking: Experts expect another 50 percent of lions in East, Central and West Africa to disappear in the next two decades.

"The latest investigations are alarming," says Brit Reichelt-Zolho from WWF Germany. "There are only about 500 animals left in western Africa. That's a catastrophe. Most of them live in isolation in large parks, have no contact with one another and are doomed. "

Less prey, shrinking habitat and growing conflicts with people

The big cats are in one deadly spiral. "In the last 50 years, the lions have lost around 80 percent of their original habitat in Africa," explains Reichelt-Zolho. In order to survive, the African smallholders expand their fields and penetrate further and further into the lions' habitat. Buffalo, zebras and antelopes are becoming rare. And the lions keep coming back to human settlements on their forays - conflicts with smallholders, livestock keepers and villagers are the result.

Photo gallery: strong, beautiful, lion!

KAZA - lions as a tourism factor

Living lions are much more valuable. Tourism is an important source of income in southern Africa. Countries like Botswana, Zambia and Namibia are already implementing tourism concepts with local communities - to protect the lion populations. And with success. In KAZA, the world's largest network of protected areas on land, a total of 21 protected areas are to be networked with one another in order to connect and maintain isolated lion populations.

KAZA has the potentialTo offer a home to 6,000 lions. The WWF advocates, among other things, wildlife corridors and concepts to reduce conflicts between lions and humans.

This is what the WWF does to protect the lions

The Mudumu National Park in the Zambezi region in northeastern Namibia is located within one important wildlife corridor and is a central part of KAZA. Unlike in many other African regions, the lion population here is relatively stable. But the growing lions want to conquer new territories and repeatedly come across human settlements on the borders of the park. Hence it happens more and more often Conflicts between the big cats and the local population.

Since 2013, there have been a total of 226 cases of cattle torn by lions in three municipalities alone. On the other hand were at least 30 big cats poisoned or shotto protect the herds and thus the livelihood of the population.

How to save 20,000 euros of lions and cattle

Reinforced farm animal fences, called kraals, have proven to be one effective protective measure proven. By the end of 2016, three communities are to be included mobile kraal systems become. The WWF is making a total of 20,000 euros available for this. Previous experience shows that the lion cracks alone with these fences reduced by up to 80 percent can be.

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